The commander of the paratroopers who gunned down 13 men in Derry on Bloody Sunday has been shot dead during a robbery in Kenya.
Colonel Edward ‘Ted’ Loden was a company major in 1 Para when troops under his command fired more than 100 shots in the Bogside on January 30, 1972.
Colonel Loden, who received the Military Cross for his actions during the Aden Emergency in 1967, was attacked on Saturday night at his son’s home in Nairobi.
His family said in a statement: “A retired British Army colonel, Edward Loden, was shot and killed during a robbery at his son’s home in Langata, Nairobi, shortly after returning from dinner on Saturday evening, September 7, whilst he was on holiday visiting his son and family.
“Nobody else was injured in the attack, which took place when a group of armed men forced their way into the compound.”
Colonel Loden, who retired from the British Army in 1992 to follow a career in business management, gave evidence to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in London in the summer of 2003.
During his testimony, he told the Saville tribunal that he was “appalled” when he learned how many people had been killed.
Colonel Loden, who commanded 1 Para’s Support Company when they stormed into the Bogside, told the hearing that his men did the best they could under the circumstances - but acknowledged that some things could have been done better.
He also rejected suggestions that he was not in control of his men on Bloody Sunday and insisted his men were shot at and returned fire in an aimed and measured way.
In his subsequent report, Lord Saville largely exonerated Colonel Loden, pointing out that events on the ground were moving so quickly “after the soldiers disembarked in the Bogside that Major Loden had no idea what was actually going on, he assumed that his soldiers had come under attack from republican paramilitaries and were responding.”
Lord Saville added: “At the time the casualties were being sustained, Major Loden neither realised nor should have realised that his soldiers were or might be firing at people who were not posing or about to pose a threat.”